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Warning: A frightening new reason to stay away from weight loss drugs sold online

When a dangerous or defective product is put on the market, a recall is usually issued to remove it. This can be done voluntarily by the manufacturer or seller, or it can be mandated by a government agency such as the FDA, CPSC and FSIS.

We reported on three recent product recalls that carry the risk of burns and fire. These products were available in stores as well as through online retailers. Tap or click here for details and instructions on dealing with these items if you have any of them.

A seller can be compelled to remove a product even if there is no recall. Amazon has pulled certain supplements that could have harmful ingredients after being contacted about them by the FDA.

First warning

In December 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers regarding “nearly 50 male enhancement or weight loss products that have been found to contain hidden ingredients and may pose a significant health risk.”

The products were purchased by the FDA from Amazon and eBay from December 2019 to February 2020. Test results revealed that the products contain “active pharmaceutical ingredients” that were not listed on their labels, which violates federal law. These ingredients can carry serious side effects and interfere with medications or dietary supplements consumers are taking.

All 26 of the products purchased on Amazon and 20 of the 25 products obtained through eBay contained unlisted active pharmaceutical ingredients. These included sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, sibutramine, desmethyl sibutramine, phenolphthalein and/or fluoxetine. Many of these ingredients can be found in FDA-approved prescription drugs, which can only be obtained after seeing a doctor.

Many of the Amazon products are carried an Amazon’s Choice or #1 Best Seller label.

Recent findings

The FDA has been issuing warnings such as these for years but continues to find dangerous products available through online retailers.

In July 2021, the FDA addressed a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy regarding the company’s distribution of dangerous and illegal products. The letter recaps the December 2020 warning and the testing that was done.

Even though Amazon said it had “restricted” the sale of the 26 sexual enhancement products, along with their sellers, the FDA was able to purchase one of them in January 2021. In March, the FDA purchases two new sexual enhancement products from Amazon that contained undeclared ingredients.

These products are labeled and described as dietary supplements, but they do not meet the FDA’s definition of “dietary supplement.”

Amazon’s deadline

Amazon has 15 working days from the date of receipt of the letter to respond to the FDA. The letter must contain a detailed plan to address the violations. Amazon can not “introduce, deliver, or cause the introduction or delivery” of unapproved and mislabeled new drugs or any with undeclared ingredients.

Amazon can also fight the accusation with supporting information.

Here is the list of 29 dangerous products as found at the bottom of the FDA letter:

  1. Imperial Gold 2000
  2. Hot Rod
  3. PremierZen Platinum 5000
  4. PremierZen Black 5000
  5. Imperial Extreme 2000
  6. Burro Primavera 60000
  7. Thumbs Up 7 Blue 69K
  8. Kopi Jantan Tradisional Natural Herbs Coffee
  9. Thumbs Up 7 Red 70K
  10. OrgaZen Premium
  11. Shogun-X Platinum 7000
  12. Ginseng Power 5000
  13. PremierZen Extreme 3000
  14. Shogun-X Black
  15. Original White Dragon
  16. Triple SupremeZen Plus 3500
  17. Triple SupremeZen Extreme 3500
  18. Triple SupremeZen Gold 3500
  19. Thumbs Up 7 (Black) 25K
  20. Krazy Night
  21. Thumbs Up 7 White 11K
  22. Imperial Platnum 2000
  23. 3 KO Gold XT
  24. Rock Steady 72 Hours
  25. 69MODE Blue 69
  26. Red Spartan 3000
  27. Adam’s Secret Extra Strength 1500
  28. Adam’s Secret Extra Strength 2000
  29. Miss Slim

The FDA is urging anyone taking the supplements on this list to stop immediately.

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